BEIJING - The shutters will close permanently at Beijing's largest clothing wholesale market, known by many as Beijing Zoo wholesale market, by the end of 2017.|
The district government of Xicheng, Beijing, made the announcement as it called time on the 2,000-stall Wanrong mall in the zoo market late Monday.
Wanrong mall will be occupied by finance and hi-tech firms, the government said.
Built in the 1980s, the sprawling zoo market is loved by locals and outsiders alike for its expansive selection of sartorial products, many at rock-bottom prices.
At its height, the market had a dozen malls like Wanrong, with thousands of tenants and as many as 70,000 visitors a day. The rise of e-commerce had taken its toll on business even before the closure.
It was first announced in 2013 that the authorities intended to close the market, part of a wider push to upgrade Beijing urban functions. Low-end businesses will be moved outside the crowded capital.
The district government said seven malls in the market have been shut so far.
Officials said they will follow up on the promise to support vendors to relocate and underscored that their interests will be protected, and their businesses can grow.
About 5,000 vendors have signed deals to move to malls in cities of Shijiazhuang, Cangzhou, and Tianjin, according to the government.
Last year, Beijing relocated or repurposed 117 markets citywide. This year, another 120, which also include community food markets, will be moved or upgraded.